Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's police reporter.

Teen thieves caught on camera, then taunt Auckland victim online

Two thieves taunt Nigel Trounson with photographs of the property they took from his house while he slept. Picture / Supplied
Two thieves taunt Nigel Trounson with photographs of the property they took from his house while he slept. Picture / Supplied

Brazen thieves who robbed a couple as they slept began taking photos of themselves flaunting their stolen property just a few hours later.

Unfortunately for the thieves, their boasts - including a trip to the hair salon and pulling gang gestures at various locations - went straight to the victims' own computer.

Aucklanders Nigel Trounson and his wife were asleep at their Mangere Bridge home when intruders entered in the early hours of Saturday morning.

They allegedly took thousands of dollars of electronic gadgets, jewellery, alcohol and two money boxes which the couple had been using to save their spare change for Christmas expenses.

Worryingly, knives had also been taken from a drawer and laid on the kitchen counter, said Trounson.

"We were at home when it happened, so it was scary because what if we had interrupted them when they had the knives out?"

Among the stolen property was a rare model of Samsung Galaxy camera that Trounson had won.

It was set to automatically upload photos as they were taken to his online cloud storage account on Dropbox - and on Saturday afternoon, that's exactly what they did.

"There is about 80 photos," he said. "Photos of them at the park, getting their hair done - I can see my things in the background of the photos."

In one photo, a teenage boy can be seen holding what Trounson believes is his stolen mobile phone.

A mirror selfie shows a teenage girl pouting - the allegedly stolen camera clearly visible in the reflection.

There is about 80 photos ... at the park, getting their hair done - I can see my things in the background.
Nigel Trounson, burglary victim

The photos - that show the faces and locations of those in the frames - were so brazen that Trounson posted them to Facebook in the hopes of recovering his property.

Those believed to be responsible for the robbery soon began to comment on his post.

"F** yuhr crack uhp, yuh can't catch me [sic]," said one of the teens.

Trounson replied: "Your brother will do."

To which the teen wrote: "Oh my brother wasn't part of it, juhs me & someone else [sic]."

While Trounson was appalled by the crime and the subsequent response, he said the police's response was comforting.

Finger prints were taken within two hours of his report, and he had been in contact with officers over the photos and posts.

"Now that we may have found them, it's a little bit of peace of mind that we might get our things back," he said.

Detective Senior Sergeant Kevin McNaughton said the Counties Manukau West Tactical Crime unit was "following positive lines of enquiry".

"As this matter is under investigation we are unable to comment on any specifics of this case.

"However, we would say generally that police take any situation where an offender taunts a victim very seriously and this could be used as evidence in any future court proceedings."

- NZ Herald

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